beard sexismA study which was published in 2016 made some controversial headlines as it suggested that men who had facial hair were more likely to have some form of sexist attitude compared to men who were clean shaven. Recently, a newer study challenges those findings and recreated the study and found no such link. The first study which was conducted by an Australian research group recognised that facial hair is one of the hallmarks of sexual maturity amongst men. Other physical characteristics which develop early in adolescence as a result of testosterone include greater muscularity, a deeper voice and chest hair. Many cultures recognise these traits as signs of general masculinity and in patriarchal cultures greater masculinity can be associated with sexist attitudes.

Study findings

The study surveyed more than five hundred men from America and India online where men were asked to report their own personal facial hair style and their views on women. Findings suggested that men who had facial hair were much more likely to display sexist attitudes than the men who were clean shaven. As a result, researchers concluded that there may be a causal relationship between sexist attitudes and the presence of facial hair as men actively choose to sport a beard so that they can differentiate themselves from women and positively reinforce feelings of dominance and masculinity. The second study however used participants from Sweden and did not find any similar results which supported the first study from 2016. Therefore we cannot conclusively say whether bearded men are more or less sexist than men who are clean shaven; this is largely due to the fact that neither study used a representative sample of men. The findings do suggest however that sexism and beardedness could correlate in some cultures.

Thickening your beard

Beardedness is perceived in many cultures as greater masculinity; however the thickness of your beard does not actually affect your masculinity nor is it something that is within your control. Beard transplants have become an increasingly popular procedure for men who are looking to thicken their facial hair to give themselves a confidence boost. To learn more about beard transplants, speak to a hair loss expert for more information.

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By Ian Watson

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